Cats pretending to box, man. Gets me every time. Tip o’ the pen to friend of the site John M. Donnelly for the find.
Fights in the works, you say? We got all the people in the headline plus the latest for Juanma, Michael Katsidis and all your other faves.
Round And Round
From what I read, everybody was more interested in seeing Jean Pascal rematch with Bernard Hopkins rather than Chad Dawson. Not me! I want both rematches for the light heavyweight king, but I wanted to see Pascal-Dawson II first, since that controversial outcome came first chronologically. Whatever the case, we’re getting Pascal-Hopkins II first as part of an HBO double-header May 21 where Chad Dawson fights Librado Andrade, and those are two good fights, so I’m heppy. And if Dawson wins he gets the winner of Pascal-Hopkins II, so, hey, one way the other, the score will be settled for all involved.
Junior welterweight Amir Khan has finally got his biz settled for his next opponent on April 16, and its U.K. domestic foe Paul McCloskey. Probably wouldn’t be my fist choice, but not terrible. Meanwhile, Khan and Timothy Bradley are said to be negotiating quite amicably for a meeting after Khan-McCloskey, and that is terrific news. We’ll see if it doesn’t get derailed by Bradley’s upcoming free agency. On the undercard, Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz are still negotiating a catchweight below the welterweight limit, and there’s the usual handwringing about who ought to give in and why. It’s really simple: I don’t care. Agree to the weight or not. If it works for the other guy, they fight; if it doesn’t, they don’t. Nobody in that pairing “deserves” anything. Also, reportedly for reasons of cost, this one will be a split-site show on HBO with Khan-McCloskey on tape delay. If Berto-Ortiz isn’t in Cali, where Ortiz has a following, it won’t sell a ticket to a single living soul.
Howsabout this for a crappy, sad fight: Marcos Maidana is going to fight Erik Morales April 9 in place of Juan Manuel Marquez. If a younger version of Morales got knocked out by a junior lightweight Manny Pacquiao twice in a row, I don’t have any doubts about what a junior welterweight nuclear puncher like Maidana will do to him. And it’s on pay-per-view! Hooray. (More on Marquez’ situation in Quick Jabs this week.) The kind of good news, but only kind of, since it makes me more likely to buy this stinker, is that lightweight must-see brawler Michael Katsidis is on the undercard. The plan is for him to fight Robert Guerrero, who is more skilled than Katsidis but lacks his consistent fire. That’s an interesting match-up.
I have no idea why featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez would be eating Yuriorkis Gamboa’s leftovers, but he is, fighting Orlando Salido, the man Gamboa beat in his last fight on April 16 on Showtime. Salido’s not bad or anything, but what gives? Especially since Top Rank’s Bob Arum said this week that the reason he’s not making Lopez-Gamboa yet is because not enough people are demanding it yet. Like we’re demanding to see Lopez and Gamboa fight the guys the other one beat (cuz Gamboa did the same with Rogers Mtagwa after Mtagwa lost to Lopez). Even better: The date means HBO and Showtime will be going head-to-head. Boxing! It’s the bee’s knees!
The lil junior flyweights who gave us a Fight of the Year candidate last year, division champ Giovani Segura and Ivan Calderon, are now good to go for April 2. I don’t like Calderon’s chances, since he was old last year and is older this year, but rematches of quality bouts usually aren’t a bad thing.
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has issued an ultimatum to David Haye: We fight July 2, or never. If that’s what it takes to make this melodrama end, fine.
Bantamweight Vic Darchinyan said a rematch has been ordered with Abner Mares by the WBC. OK. First, though, they gotta fight their Showtime bantamweight tourney opponents, Mares against Joeph Agbeko in the loser’s bracket and Darchinyan against Yonnhy Perez in the winner’s bracket. Those fights will go down April 23. And April is feeling pretty busy, I notice as I write all this.
Featherweight Chris John is in line to fight Gamboa later this year, but in the meantime he’ll be taking on fellow Indonesian Daud Yordan April 17. That’s a bit more than a stay-busy fight, but it’s not the kind of fight that should threaten John-Gamboa.
Saul Alvarez’ bubba got beat last weekend by Austin Trout, so the junior middleweight wants to avenge his bro-bro Rigoberto. Not only does the fight make sense for viewers who value family, but it makes sense from the standpoint of career development for Alvarez; his next opponent, Matthew Hatton, is the best guy he will have faced, and Trout will arguably be a touch better — at least, he’s a fellow youngster, as opposed to some of the oldsters Saul has been fightin’.
John Murray was in the running to take on Khan at one point, but now there’ll be another all-Brit match-up with Kevin Mitchell, tentatively on April 2. I’m not as familiar with Murray’s work as I am Mitchell’s, but that is a lightweight match-up that at least ought to sell a few tickets in Jolly Ol’.
Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam will take all his apostrophe N’s (hey, there was another one!) into a middleweight bout with Giovanni Lorenzo April 2. It’s kind of a fringe fight in the division, but worth mentioning.
Also, with Brian/Bryan Vera reviving his career yet again with that win over Sergio Mora last weekend, he could be rematching with Andy Lee should Lee win his upcoming bout. That was a really serious scrap and it would be again, even if Lee fought more wisely this time, because Vera makes good fights with anyone. He made a good fight with Mora, for crissakes.
It was too good to be true, Fight Night Club. The junior welterweight bout between Jesse Vargas and Lanard Lane is off, with Lane out and Jose Armando Santa Cruz in for the Feb. 24 headiner. You can make the argument that a blown-up Santa Cruz is still the toughest opponent of Vargas’ career, but Vargas-Lane was better. Not a disaster, but a loss.
Even though nobody thought he looked like he was worth a damn in his last fight, cruiserweight Lateef Kayode is somehow in trash-talking wars with THREE different cruisers: Marco Huck, B.J. Flores and Ryan Coyne. As said trash talking has not been very amusing, this is an entirely worthless trash-talking war — it lacks significance and panache alike.
If Ricardo Mayorga somehow beats Miguel Cotto in their upcoming junior middleweight fight, the plan is to match him with Cotto’s next anticipated opponent, Antonio Margarito. Rarely do you get villain vs. villain match-ups of that villainiciousness.
No, Israel Vazquez. Put away those ambitions of fighting again, the ones you’ve been talking about lately. You can only do harm to yourself and there definitely won’t be any glory to make it all worthwhile, the way it was earlier in your career.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene; Fightnews; ESPN; Maxboxing; Fanhouse)